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Esmerelda Enrique

As we approach the 20th anniversary of Older & Reckless, we shine a light on the senior artists who we are honoured to feature in our celebrations, including Toronto’s beloved flamenco artist ESMERALDA ENRIQUE

Esmeralda Enrique – photo by Iván Montoya

Esmeralda and the gifted musicians who accompany her dances have thrilled audiences at Older & Reckless in 2011, 2014 and 2016. Here she speaks about her life-long passion for flamenco.

“Flamenco has shaped my life's history. It is my great passion. It excites my mind, it enraptures my soul and comforts my spirit. Through flamenco I find truth, beauty and goodness. Good flamenco is always stirring to the listener who hears with their heart. It communicates beyond what words can describe and beyond what movement can say. It is the language of the soul. Flamenco is more than a profession to me, it is a way of life, and it permeates my personal and professional life through its philosophy of honesty, dignity and integrity. I believe that one does not have to be a performer to be "a flamenco". A flamenco is anyone who is emotionally and actively involved in this philosophy. The art of flamenco is merely the outward expression of the flamenco way of life.”

- Esmeralda Enrique


Esmeralda Enrique is one of the most celebrated Flamenco dance artists in Canada. Lauded internationally as a choreographer and teacher, she is the founder of the Academy of Spanish Dance and the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company, renowned for its innovation, versatility and artistic excellence. Dancing professionally by the age of 14, she has received numerous awards including being named one of the 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians in 2008. She received the Toronto Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Vision Award for Arts and Culture and the inaugural Young Centre for the Performing Arts Dance Award as Senior Artist in 2012, the year that marked the thirtieth anniversary of both the school and company. Esmeralda was awarded the Pioneers Award in Art and Dance from the Hispanic Canadian Heritage Council and has also been honoured with several Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations for Outstanding Performance and for Outstanding New Choreography. Ms. Enrique is the founder of The Art of Flamenco Symposium, a bi-annual event in Toronto. Esmeralda reveals in her work a total mastery and love of the art. Undoubtedly her spirit and energy over the last thirty-three years have helped make flamenco a vibrant, driving force on the Canadian dance landscape.

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